Kings' Gambit

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Kings' Gambit
Stop the violence in Freeside against NCR citizens.
Quest data
locationNCR Embassy
given byAmbassador Crocker
reward1300 XP
600 caps
NCR fame
base id0011f95b
Related quests
Things That Go Boom
leads to:
For the Republic, Part 2
G.I. Blues

Kings' Gambit is a side quest in Fallout: New Vegas.



Following the completion of Things That Go Boom, Ambassador Crocker asks the player to resolve the problems in Freeside, where the Kings have been attacking NCR civilians and soldiers. There are two solutions to the problem:

  1. Assassinate Pacer, who is responsible for the attacks.
  2. Negotiate with the King to resolve it diplomatically without violence.

If the King is dead when this quest starts, the player can only report to the Ambassador that the Kings were wiped out.


Killing Pacer is one of the most open ended assignments in Fallout: New Vegas. There are two basic types of assassination methods:

  1. Framing the Van Graff family or using them to kill him directly.
  2. Poisoning Pacer's drug stash. The stash will only spawn if Rotface mentioned it.

In order for them to be available, the player has to receive information about either the feud between Pacer and the Van Graffs or about his weak heart. Both can be obtained from Rotface (two separate tips will mention these facts). Alternatively, the player can steal Pacer's medical records from Julie Farkas' cabinet in her tower at the Old Mormon Fort.

The player can always just kill Pacer themselves, though this will be a subpar performance, hurt their reputation in Freeside, and cause the Ambassador to chew the player out.

Using the Van Graffs to kill Pacer[edit]

If the player has learned about the feud and talked to Ambassador Crocker about it (such as after examining Pacer's stash at the King's School of Impersonation in his room there), they can opt to sue the family to do the deed. There are two methods to do this. The first one includes luring Pacer to the Silver Rush:

  1. Examine Pacer's stash (first room on the left, third floor) to learn about the possibility of placing a note there.
  2. Talk to Ralph at Mick and Ralph's and request a forged note from Jean-Baptiste Cutting to Pacer (Speech 50 or Kings' membership required).
  3. Plant the note at the stash.
  4. Wait for Pacer to check it (he comes to use his stash around 10 PM).
  5. Watch him run over to the Silver Rush and get killed by the guards there.
  6. Talk to the King and then report to Ambassador Crocker.

Even if the player has assassinated the Van Graffs, they can kill Pacer there to complete the quest, as long as they do it with a laser or plasma weapon.

An easier method includes killing Pacer while working for the Van Graffs:

  1. Start Birds of a Feather.
  2. While working the door with Simon, Pacer will approach.
  3. Provoke Pacer into a fight with hostile dialogue options (the third followed by "Care to back that up?" works).
  4. Kill Pacer with the Van Graff plasma rifle.

This successfully completes the assignment and doesn't turn the Kings hostile. Birds of a Feather will continue as normal, but for obvious reasons, G.I. Blues will not be available for completion.

Framing the Van Graffs[edit]

Alternatively, the player can frame the Van Graffs for the murder. To do so, they simply have to:

  1. Sneak into Pacer's room at night.
  2. Plant a plasma grenade or plasma mine on the sleeping gangster.
  3. Wait for the fireworks.

This successfully kills Pacer, frames the Van Graffs, and satisfies the quest objectives without turning the Kings hostile.

Medicine 60: Poison Pacer[edit]

The player can always cause Pacer to suffer a heart attack by poisoning his drug stash. As stated above, to do so, the player has to know about Pacer's addiction and heart problems from Rotface or Julie Farkas' files. Then they have to:

  1. Go to Pacer's room and add Psycho to his stash.
  2. Wait until roughly 10 PM for him to come and use his stash.
  3. Pacer will suffer a fatal heart attack and die, fulfilling the quest.


The diplomatic route settles the tensions between the NCR and the Kings without bloodshed. Mostly.

King's favor[edit]

The simplest way to ease tensions is to use the King's favor obtained in G.I. Blues. However, if it was already used before, the player will have to negotiate. Ambassador Crocker suggests talking to Colonel Moore or Colonel Hsu at Hoover Dam and Camp McCarran respectively.

Colonel Moore's solution[edit]

To gain support from Colonel Moore:

  1. The player has to go to Hoover Dam and talk to the Colonel. She will assign a squad to follow the player and order them to demand the Kings to stand down.
  2. When confronted, the King will not yield no matter what the player says. The entire confrontation turns into a bloodbath as the Kings are no match for the armored NCR troopers armed with rifles. The troops sweep the building and kill everyone in their way. The King will have his unique suit available for looting.
  3. The quest will fail if finished this way, but the player can apologize to Crocker and receive a reward of 300 caps even, then move on to the next quest.

Understandably, if the player has not obtained Rex as a companion, he will be killed by the troops. Furthermore, if the player shoots Kings, they will gain Freeside infamy. However, no such infamy will be gained if the player holds their fire and allows the troops to mop up the Kings.

Colonel Hsu's solution[edit]

To work with Colonel Hsu, the player has to:

  1. Talk to Colonel Hsu at Camp McCarran. He will assign a squad to the player and ask them to offer the King some NCR support for his work.
  2. There are two ways the confrontation can go down: If the player is polite and emphasizes the NCR's offer of support, the King will agree to cease hostilities in exchange for resources from the Republic. Pacer will then appear and stage a coup, causing the loyalists and the NCR troopers to open fire. Shooting Pacer or the rogue Kings will cause infamy to be gained with Freeside, so the player is advised to hold fire.
  3. Being rude to The King during the confrontation will cause it to devolve into a bloodbath, as per Moore's method above.

Quest stages[edit]

1 Kill Pacer in a way that implicates someone other than the NCR, or talk the King into ceasing hostilities with the NCR
2Quest finishedReturn to Ambassador Crocker with the news that the King has agreed to cease hostilities.
3 (Optional) Kill Pacer in a way that implicates the Van Graff family.
4 (Optional) Kill Pacer by adding Psycho to his jet.
5Quest finishedReturn to Ambassador Crocker with news of Pacer's death.
6 Return to Ambassador Crocker with the news that the King will not curb the violence in Freeside.
7 Speak with Colonel Moore at the Hoover Dam for further instructions regarding the situation in Freeside.
8 Go to the Kings' School of Impersonation and deliver an ultimatum to the King, backed by a squad of NCR troopers.
9 (Optional) Speak with Colonel Hsu in Camp McCarran for further instructions regarding the situation in Freeside.
10 Go to the Kings' School of Impersonation and offer the King official NCR support if he ceases hostilities.
11 Stop Pacer from ruining the deal between the King and the NCR.
12Quest finishedReturn to Ambassador Crocker and report that the King has accepted Colonel Hsu's pledge of NCR support.
13 Help the NCR Troopers kill all the Kings.
14Quest failedReturn to Ambassador Crocker and report that the Kings have been wiped out.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • There are two unused endings to King's Gambit. If the player gets the help of either Colonel Cassandra Moore or James Hsu, then Pacer will object and try to stage a coup. Dialogue was recorded for a further scene where the Player could try to reason with him, and either talk him down with a speech challenge, convince the Kings to shoot him (the only path that can happen on the Hsu route in the finished game), or tell the soldiers to open fire on everyone (essentially what happens on the Moore path). This was presumably cut to make the two different choices more distinct and less redundant. I.e. The player is told Colonel Moore will not tolerate any bullshit, so it makes sense that involving her men leads to unavoidable tragedy for the Kings.
  • In Chess, a King's Gambit is an opening strategy where a pawn is risked for a long term advantage.
  • It was believed that Elvis Presley died of a drug-induced heart attack due to underlying heart problems, much like how Pacer dies if his drug stash is tampered with.


  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png The stash may fail to spawn even if the conditions are met.
    • PCIcon pc.png To counter it, open the console (~) and type in: prid 001205BC, enable. This will cause the stash to appear.
  • PCIcon pc.png Sometimes the conversation with Crocker fails to recognize quest completion. Apart from reloading to an earlier save, the player can use the reset command to re-set the quest (resetquest 0011f95b).
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